The Environment Agency is launching civil enforcement proceedings against organisations that have failed to comply with Esos energy efficiency regulations.
The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme, part of EU law, mandates firms over a certain size or turnover to conduct an Esos energy audit.
Last year’s deadline saw thousands of firms fail to hit the deadline for compliance. The Environment Agency (EA) said it has gone through 2,800 of those organisations that said they would be late and issued around 50 enforcement notices.
Some 1,500 organisations that potentially fell under Esos legislation did not contact the Agency. The EA has subsequently told 500 of them that they do need to comply. To the remainder it has served 300 enforcement notices and says it will continue to serve more.
Approximately 1,000 firms told the Agency that they did not need to comply. The EA says “a number” of those organisations are wrong and they will be served enforcement notices.
According to around 200 Environment Agency audits of those that did complete their Esos forms, only 16% were compliant in the first instance. Three quarters subsequently complied following remedial action, potentially throwing up questions around the quality of both the audits and the auditors, as previously noted by some lead assessors.
According to the EA’s latest data, some 6,800 organisations were Esos compliant as of 31 January 2017.
The Agency urged companies to begin compliance work for the second phase of Esos, although they cannot yet complete them because total energy consumption figures must include the qualification date of 31 December 2018.